“…old in a blossoming earth” Robert Creeley

In the south of my childhood, time passed
like a plate of ham. Grandma made lard biscuits,

cooked rashers of bacon, fried lamb chops,
presided over the hugging and sassing

and eating and telling and pulling of sticker burrs.
I looked to her for solace and solutions. She delivered

axioms and injunctions and was indifferent to the one,
strong chin hair that grew and when pulled, grew again,

unkillable as a cockroach. How and why
do a woman’s eyebrows grow both thin and wild?

In the south of my childhood, we knew our place
and kept it until, like grandma our strength of hand

declined to loss of grip as silverware tumbled
from our fingers like petals from a blossoming limb.

From Rat’s Ass Review

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About the Author

Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books, including, The Mercy of Traffic, winner of the Phillip H. McMath 2020 Post-Publication Award and five chapbooks. Her work appears in Atlanta Review, Mom Egg Review, pacificREVIEW and this spring Doubleback Books reprinted her 2008 book, Discount Fireworks as a free download.